Key Insights

Mobile advertising is growing at an unprecedented rate as people are

abandoning the desktop version of Facebook in favor of accessing

the network on smartphones. Facebook’s recent Q2 2015 earnings

announcement noted that mobile ads currently account for 75%

of the organization’s revenue. Mobile-forward thinking is paramount.

In this guide, we discuss the tactics and details for improving

desktop vs. mobile advertising through a useful case study.

Mobile ads were launched on Facebook in 2012

and currently account for 76% of Facebook revenues 1

Of the 1.49 billion monthly Facebook users,

44% of them (655 million) are mobile-only users 2

Mobile active daily users number 844 million on average,

an increase of 29% year-over-year

Mobile monthly active users

increased 23% year-over-year


Where Facebook’s Revenue Growth Comes From


According to Facebook Reports Second Quarter 2015 Results

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off



Since going public three years ago, Facebook has developed

a robust mobile advertising platform. Mobile ads have played

a key role in Facebook’s Q2 2015 results beating projections

for both earnings and revenue, with mobile advertising

accounting for 76% of Facebook’s advertising revenue

and 72% of total revenue.

Mobile ads have grown explosively for Facebook, contributing to more than

90% of Facebook’s revenue growth in each of the ten previous quarters,

while desktop ads and payments have stayed flat.

Facebook’s mobile advertising services have been widely successful

considering the fact that the platform sees 844 million mobile users

on average daily. The development and speed with which mobile

ads have become the largest source of revenue for the company

is astounding. This is precisely why mobile-forward thinking is critical

in today’s rapidly changing environment on social media.

Mobile commerce is thriving as consumers are increasingly

on their smartphones.

What are the advantages and disadvantages for businesses

that wish to excel with social ads in the game of desktop vs. mobile?

Facebook Quarterly Revenue Broken down by Segment

(million U.S. dollars)

4 000

3 000

2 000

1 000


2012 2013 2014 2015

Desktop Advertising Mobile Advertising Payments

Image & Data Source: Business Insider; Where Facebook’s Revenue Growth Comes From

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off


Desktop and Mobile Strengths

Desktop Advertising

Mobile Advertising

Ideal if you need the user’s

undivided attention

Great for media companies that engage their audience

within a quick glance

Better for longer or rich content

(videos, HTML5, Flash etc.)

Ideal for links with microsites

and landing pages

In B2B ideal for lead-generation that requires

filling out the forms on the landing page

Helpful for a clear Call-To-Action (CTA)

that can grab attention on any screen size

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off


Driving Website Traffic and Conversions



Use Custom Audiences and target the people that have already

visited your website, e-mail subscribers, and your contacts through

their customer journey:

Target leads, prospects, and clients with relevant messaging

People have a longer attention span than on mobiles,

so it’s important to test a lot of images

One common mistake brands make is neglecting to optimize campaign

images for mobile displays, leading to cut-off and unwieldy graphics.

Make sure your campaign visuals are mobile-friendly.

It’s also essential to have a responsive website and landing page

if you go mobile. Forms that need to be filled should be easily clickable

on any screen size or ideally prefilled by offering users a social log-in

via Facebook, Twitter or other profiles.

Use Lookalike 3 audiences to target the message

to similar recipients

Target your Fans - they are cheaper and have

a nearly 3x better Click Through Rate (CTR)


Lookalike audiences in Facebook gathers a similar target audience to help you target people who are similar

to your current customers for Fan acquisition, site registration, off-Facebook purchases, coupon claims and brand

awareness. Facebook analyzes your Custom Audience list and creates a new segment that is optimized based

on either similarity or reach.

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off


Raising Brand Awareness



Identify the best-performing organic posts (by high reach

and engagement) in real-time, and promote them quickly

to maximize your reach

Publish videos natively (they have better reach and

engagement than videos leading outside the platform

e.g. posting a YouTube video to Facebook)

Promote posts that are strategically important such as those

featuring your latest campaign or product

If video content is being used, have a clear CTA

at the end to direct users to the desired place

Videos render better on mobile devices than on desktops

Ensure that the video does not require a lot of data

Use location-based targeting whenever relevant

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off


Desktop vs. Mobile

Since mobile is very often the first source of contact with Facebook

for a lot of users during the day, mobile ads can help to support

a campaign designed for desktop ads

Raise awareness with light messaging on mobile

Cross Device Conversions over Time

66 %

67 % 67 %

Continue desktop ads for final conversion

32 %

According to an analysis of Facebook ad performance in the United

States, of the people who showed interest in Facebook mobile Ads,

more than 32% converted on desktop within 28 days 4

11 %

22 %


Facebook for Business

1 Day prior 7 Days prior 28 Days prior

Mobile Click

Mobile View

Image & Data Source: Facebook for Business

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off


Native videos get more reach than any other type

of post - that’s why it pays off to promote them.

Post and Promote Videos Natively

Average Organic Reach

While they are relatively more promoted than photos – 27% of all videos are

promoted, compared to 17% of photos – there are so many more photos than

videos that the new format is still far more effective at reaching audiences. 5

Because Facebook videos auto-play silently,

it’s essential to make them visually appealing right from the start



8.7 %

5.8 %

Try including dialog right at the beginning of a video.

If people want to hear what’s being said, they’ll click for sound

– and video churn rates show that viewers who make it past

the first 5% of a video will likely stay engaged to watch until the end

Make your native videos as shareable as possible - the objective

is to make your content worth sharing (when someone shares your

post it reflects the highest form of brand endorsement) thus helping

to increase brand awareness




0 % 2 % 4 % 6 % 8 % 10 %

Date Range: October 1, 2011 to February 1, 2015

Data: The sample consisted of 4 445 Brand pages and the more than 670 000 posts

5.3 %

3.7 %

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off


Driving Online Sales



Remarket the visitors of the website or visitors

that did not complete a purchase

Creating a mobile app can be beneficial; get customer feedback

to see whether they’d prefer the app

Desktop is more suitable, as it ensures users are more likely

to catch the ad in their feeds since it occupies more space

Use mobile advertising IDs

- Android, Apple, Facebook App

Target your fanbase, provide special deals

and not only discounts

Connect it with your your offline activities by targeting

the users that are nearby your shop

Pay attention to the frequency of retargeting to minimize

the times a person is likely to see the same ad

Responsive design is essential

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off


Stimulate Local In-Store Sales


Target your fans, website audience and newsletter audience,

cross-testing effectiveness across multiple ad sets.


Target ads to people close to your location and offer them

something extra for additional value

Use the Offer ad format to provide one-time-one-time-only

deals that will be shown to those near your stores

Image: Facebook for Business

Improve performance with carousel ads Carousel link ads drive

30-50 % lower cost-per-conversion and 20-30 % lower cost-per-click

than single-image link ads.

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off


Get New Installs for Your App



Is your app available on Facebook?

Use desktop ads to drive valuable traffic

Make the ad relevant to the interests of those

being targeted e.g. a fitness app for fitness buffs

Use bright and catchy images to grab attention

Videos are great - learn how to succeed here

Use mobile targeting and leverage Audience Network 7 targeting,

which posts your ad in other 3rd party apps, to reach the broadest

audience beyond Facebook. Ads in the Audience Network use the

same imagery you use for your Facebook Ads, so there’s no need

for new creative.

Segment your audience and test many different ads

Cross-test the video auto-play and click-to-play formats

Use carousel format

Incentivize users to install the app by promoting a special offer

e.g. if 1 order is made through the app, the user will receive a 50% discount

7 Facebook for Business

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off


Gain More Likes for Your Pages



People have a longer attention span than on mobiles,

so it’s important to test a lot of images

Use extremely clear images - faces work great!

Keep texts short and catchy

Performs well for younger age groups

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off


Capture Newsletter Subscribers



Use a newsletter tab for your page (don’t worry

- this can be done almost pain-free with tools like TabFoundry)

Target Lookalike audiences of your Fans

and your newsletter subscribers

Difficult to achieve, and so requires the landing page

to be responsive and ideally prefilled

Good new is, that Facebook is now testing new lead gen

forms that should simplify the process for mobile 8

8 Facebook for Business

Do not send users away from Facebook to complete the newsletter

subscription by redirecting them to another website - use a Facebook

native-app on your Page to capture emails for subscriptions

Be sure to target your Fans

Image: Facebook is testing lead ads to make the mobile signup process easier by automatically inserting

contact information from their Facebook Profile - in the form of an email address, name and surname;

Source: Facebook for Business

Desktop vs. Mobile Advertising on Facebook Square Off

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